Because of this blog, our China lawyers get a fairly steady stream of China law questions from readers, mostly via emails but occasionally via blog comments as well. If we were to conduct research on all the questions we get asked and then comprehensively answer them, we would become overwhelmed. So what we usually do is provide a super fast general answer and, when it is easy to do so, a link or two to a blog post that may provide some additional guidance. We figure we might as well post some of these on here as well. On Fridays, like today.
We work with a number of clients who have goods manufactured in China – everything from plastic beach balls to sophisticated home electronics. We provide those clients with a wide range of business and legal advice, and often also end up drafting agreements for them: NNN agreements, development agreements, mold agreements, manufacturing agreements, and more. In the course of assisting these clients, many will ask if we can help them find a factory to manufacture their products.
The answer is no. First, it could end up being a conflict of interest (or at least appearing like one) if we have a relationship with both sides of a transaction. Even if both parties agree with full disclosure, it’s rarely worth the hassle. Second, recommending factories is outside our expertise. Even though we have done deals with hundreds of factories in China, there are exponentially more that we haven’t even heard about. Why would we? We’re lawyers, not sourcing agents.That said, we are always happy to recommend to our clients sourcing agents with whom we have worked and respect.
But China factories? Nope.